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The Fairy Flower
EX ses of War and Education
SCIENTIFIC WRITERS AND
GEORGE GORDON, LORD BYRON:
The Song of the Shirt...
The Bridge of Sighs..
A Parental (de to my Infant Son.. 308
The Cotter's Saturday Night
To a Mountain Daisy.
To Mary in Heaven......
DISTINGUISHED WRITERS....... 520
To the Duke of Bedford...
Translation of Virgil....
POETS AND PROSE WRITERS... 470 EDMUND SPENSER:
The Knight and the Lady.
THEORY OF BEAUTY.
Edinburgh Review, May, 1811.
OBJECTIONS against the notion of beauty being a simple sensation or the object of a separate and peculiar faculty:
1. The first is the want of agreement as to the presence and existence of beauty in particular objects among men whose organization is perfect, and who are plainly possessed of the faculty, whatever it may be, by which beauty is discerned. Now, no such thing happens, we imagine, or can be conceived to happen, in the case of any other simple sensation, or the exercise of any other distinct faculty.
Where one man sees light, all men who have eyes see light also. All men allow grass to be green, and sugar to be sweet, and ice to be cold; and the unavoidable inference from
any apparent disagreement in such matters necessarily is, that the party is insane, or entirely destitute of the sense or organ concerned in the perception. With regard to beauty, however
, it is obvious at first sight that the case is entirely different. One man sees it perpetually, where to another it is quite invisible, or even where its reverse seems to be conspicuous. How can we believe, then, that beauty is the object of a peculiar sense or faculty, when persons undoubtedly possessed of the faculty, and even in an eminent degree, can discover nothing of it in objects where it is distinctly felt and perceived by others with the same use of the faculty ?
This one consideration appears to us conclusive against the supposition of beauty being a real property of objects, addressing itself to the power of taste as a separate sense or faculty; and it seems to point irresistibly to the conclusion, that our sense of it is the result of other more elementary feelings, into which it may be analyzed or resolved.